Berman Jewish DataBank Operating Policies

 

ACQUISITIONS

The Berman Jewish DataBank acquires and archives quantitative studies and related materials primarily, though not exclusively, on North American Jews and Jewish communities.  DataBank staff use the following guidelines in determining acquisitions:

1. The subject matter relates broadly to North American Jews, Jewish communities, and/or Jewish institutions.

2. The primary information in the study comes from survey and poll data, though other forms of primary data (e.g., in-depth interviews, focus group transcripts, various kinds of “big data,” etc.) may also be included.

3. The study is of current or historical interest, value or benefit to our stakeholders.

4. Researchers and commissioning organizations work with DataBank staff to provide at least minimum methodological disclosure information.

5. The DataBank has the necessary resources needed to prepare data files and other materials for posting at the DataBank.

6. There is risk of permanent loss of data if the DataBank does not acquire the study.

7. Materials that consist of secondary analyses are based on primary data held in the DataBank’s archives.

8. Primary and secondary materials are prepared as finished products rather than works-in-progress.

 

In general, the DataBank does not seek to acquire the following kinds of surveys:

1. Push polls or variants of push polls, designed not to legitimately measure public opinion or attitudes for research purposes, but to manipulate public or elite opinion for advocacy, political or other purposes.

2. Surveys that are designed to test or promote exclusively commercial products. This criterion does not include non-profit programs that may have fees attached to them.

3. Surveys for which it is difficult or impossible to remove information that could violate respondent anonymity or privacy without substantively diminishing the value of the study.

 

OPEN-ACCESS AND STAKEHOLDER SUPPORT

The DataBank is an open-access site and our holdings are freely available for downloading and use.  DataBank staff provide appropriate consulting support to stakeholders.  DataBank staff do not provide consulting support to commercial entities, unless they are working on behalf of a stakeholder group.

 

TRANSPARENCY IN THE PUBLIC RELEASE AND REPORTING OF RESEARCH

The DataBank promotes transparency in the public release and reporting of research on North American Jewry by supporting and facilitating the disclosure of methodological information and the release of data files on which study reports and other materials are based.  The DataBank encourages methodological disclosure and data file release so that data consumers can adequately evaluate and assess, to their own standards, the quality of research designs and the data collected through them.

The DataBank strongly recommends data producers adhere at least to the minimum standards of methodological disclosure of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (see AAPOR Code of Professional Ethics and Practices, Section III, the AAPOR Survey Disclosure Checklist, and the AAPOR Disclosure FAQs).  The DataBank plans to acknowledge studies that meet the AAPOR disclosure standards on their DataBank study page.  DataBank staff will work with data producers to help them meet the AAPOR standards when archiving study materials at the DataBank.

The DataBank also strongly encourages data producers to archive the data files from the studies they commission and conduct, thereby making the primary data available to other researchers for secondary analysis.  DataBank staff work with data producers to prepare data files for public release, including the removal of information that could be used to identify respondents.

Data producers’ adherence to the DataBank’s transparency policy is voluntary.  The DataBank advocates but does not require compliance with AAPOR standards of disclosure or data file release for inclusion in its holdings, nor does it require any particular research methodology or study design.

 

NON-ADVOCACY

The DataBank does not engage in advocacy or take independent positions on Jewish communal policies, programs or political issues.  Materials in our holdings that may contain such positions are the responsibility of the producers of the materials and are not attributable to the DataBank or The Jewish Federations of North America.

 

DIGITAL PRESERVATION

The DataBank saves all website content (data files, reports, slide decks, etc.), meta-data about the content, and all other files necessary for operating the DataBank to an external back-up server daily.  Back-up data are retained for 10 days; content, meta-data, other files and/or the entire server can be restored from any point in the last 10-day period.

The DataBank is committed to preserving the long-term digital integrity of our holdings and has identified the following issues as central to developing our digital preservation efforts:

1. Preventing technological obsolescence of our materials, especially data files

2. Providing data files in multiple formats

3. Seeking opportunities to learn about best practices in digital preservation

4. Seeking partnerships for digital preservation where appropriate.